LAABS, ALTHA

Altha Laabs 1923-2020 Altha Mae Laabs (Beam) 96, daughter of Sidney and Hazel Beam, was born on February 5th, 1923 in Riverton, Iowa. She entered into eternal peace on January 16, 2020. Preceding her death were her father Sidney Beam, mother Hazel Beam, sister Alice Johnson, sister Dorothy Beam, grandparents and daughter Diane Laabs. Those remaining to cherish her memory are brother Leo Beam, son Roger Laabs and wife Dorothy, son Greg Laabs and wife Elicia, son Jeff Laabs and wife Lisa, grandchildren Justin Laabs, Jason Laabs, Heather (Laabs) Loutzenhiser, Ryan Mahoney, Luke Mahoney, Bradley Bye and Michael Harriman. Great grandchildren Magnus Laabs, Zoey Loutzenhiser, William Loutzenhiser, Autumn Harriman, Layla Bye and Micah Bye. Also included are cousins, nieces, nephews and many friends. She grew up on farms near Riverton, Strahan, Climax and Coburg. Altha loved the farm even though they were tough times. She graduated from Coburg High School in 1940 in a class of seven. In 1940 she started working at Henry Fields. It was there she met her best friend Lucille White and husband Earl. They remained friends until their passing. About 1946 Altha worked at Northwestern Bell Telephone Company in Shenandoah. Altha then moved to Omaha and went to art school and worked at Kilpatricks. She then worked at an auto parts store for a short time. Altha then found her favorite job to date as a receptionist and phone operator at the Methodist Hospital. She met and became friends with many people. It was there she met her future husband Randy Laabs. They dated for a time, then were married at the Emanuel Lutheran Church in Shenandoah on February 6, 1955. Altha's first child, Diane Rose Laabs was born and died on December 5, 1955 in Fairmont, Minnesota. This was the saddest time of her life. Altha went back to work at Henry Fields in Shenandoah. They then moved to Vernon Center, Minnesota. About 1963 Altha and Randy purchased an acreage near Madelia, Minnesota. Altha stayed home to raise the three boys and helped run the auction barn they owned. She used to make homemade glazed doughnuts, rolls and pies for the concession stand for auctions. Her boys and their grandfather would enjoy "testing" the doughnuts as they were made. Altha and the boys moved to Shenandoah in 1969 to their new home. Altha and Randy later divorced. Altha worked at Henry Fields, Garden View, Woolworths and then finally Hy-Vee in the Deli where she utilized her cooking and artistic skills. In 1985 Altha went to England to visit her son Roger and family. She really enjoyed the trip. In 1992 she moved to Forrest Park, then Autumn Park. Altha retired from Hy-Vee in December of 2000. Altha joined the First Christian Church, enjoyed CWF meetings, was asked to be chairman of the social and financial committee where she planned annual dinners and social functions. Altha moved to Elm Heights in 2018 where she stayed until her passing. Altha enjoyed traveling and visited her sons and friend Lucille as often as possible. Altha enjoyed people and cooking. She loved to bake and share her delights with friends and family. Altha loved to sew and made many beautiful quilts. She painted, made ceramics and enjoyed all art. Altha's kind and easy nature touched everyone she met and made a wealth of lifelong friendships that she cherished. Altha loved people and most friends became part of her family. She will be deeply missed by all that have come to know her. Funeral Services were held at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at the Hackett-Livingston Funeral Home with Pastor Nancy Thomas officiating. Burial followed in the Utterback/Mt. Zion Cemetery. Attending to the memorial register was Bonnie Wilson. Special music for the service included the recordings of "He Touched Me", "How Great Thou Art" and "Footprints In The Sand". Casket bearers included Roger, Greg and Jeff Laabs, Junior Taylor, Jim Wilson and Les McKenney. Memorials were suggested to the First Christian Church. Remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at www.hackettlivingston.com. Hackett-Livingston Funeral Home was entrusted with the arrangements.

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